Home working

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It shouldn’t really be much of a surprise to anyone I don’t think. Anyone who has worked in an office will know that the IT man can fix your computer at distance without having to come and see you in person. He can move your mouse around, and open and close the stuff on your desktop; and so presumably also has the capacity of knowing who you are writing to and what you are writing. And so now that working at home, I wouldn’t call it a fashion ( at first sight it might seem trendy, and a good way of beating the rush hour traffic, but hey, what about actually meeting people for real and a bit of human contact) but it is certainly fast becoming a thing of the present, can easily be seen as something that could well be here to stay.
I know lots of people, myself included, who put a bit of sticky tape over the video cam of their laptop, to be sure of some privacy in their own home, but it’s finally come out that some companies who have got their workers to work from home, have put a chip in the programs, which gives them the ability of seeing what’s going on. Shock, horror? No, not really. It gives the company no more control over your working environment than they would normally have if you were in the office. Obviously they need to control things. When your system crashes, or you get a computer virus, they can’t send a techie to your house to sort it. So, it’s just normal.
The big question is you! Do you normally walk around your office naked? Or take your boss with you when you pop to the loo to have a crap? Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends what kind of place you work. Perhaps?! So, the advice is obviously, don’t do anything at home working that you wouldn’t do at work. Remember that you may think your computer is switched off, but you can’t guarantee it. You may switch off the camera and microphone, but… You know very well it’s possible to by-pass all your controls. Like your smartphone, why can’t you take the battery out? Because this is the only way they have of making sure you never switch it off. Laptop ditto. Probably your desktop computer too; you have no way of knowing if there’s a hidden battery inside.
A bit of tape over the camera is probably a good idea, and trying to turn off the microphone also worth looking at. But you also need to do conference calls and all the rest, so a total cut off is not an option.
In China, companies are using facial recognition as well, to make sure workers are at their desks, so they know even exactly how long every day they are sitting in front of their computers. This is the same as having your boss standing behind you all day, looking over your shoulder hitting you on the head with a wooden stick when you slack; forget going to the lavatory or having a cup of tea!
Big brother is definitely watching you, and he has been for a long time now. Now, the only difference is, that in the current situation these capacities are being put into action, and so it becomes obvious even to the most trusting among us that society is shifting quickly to somewhere we wouldn’t want it to go.
In conclusion, you certainly need more than one computer, or at least be able to just work and nothing else on the work computer, and do the other things in life without mixing the two.
Just a passing note, before finishing. I have a friend who runs a business near where I live, and this person told me they were always bewildered that the staff were all friends on Facebook and would share much of their life online. When they went sick, the first undertaking would always be to check Facebook and see what had been shared online; frequently showing parties, discos and even holidays rather than the alleged ailments. Big Brother is here to stay, and far pettier than you think!

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